Understanding the basis of why conditions develop is key to improving early detection and improved management. Research to improve the understanding of why diseases develop can take many forms. Epidemiological research studies identify risk factors, such as lifestyle choices or the local environment. These are very different from molecular research studies that aim to identify key disease-causing changes in cells. Both are applicable to conditions within the scope of Oral Medicine practice. These often involve multi-disciplinary research studies, particularly for systemic conditions such as Sjogren’s Syndrome and Behcet’s Disease.